As they walked into the dense forest, Nie Tian scanned his surroundings with the help of his Heaven Eyes. At the same time, he sent a wisp of psychic awareness into his ring of holding.
He wanted to see if the Flame Dragon Armor had recovered its power and become usable again.
The Flame Dragon Armor was sitting quietly in his ring of holding. Sitting next to it, the prismatic fiery crystal had already lost ninety percent of the wisps of earthflame essence swimming inside it.
The Blood Core at the center of the chest area of the Flame Dragon Armor was still releasing misty, crimson light.
Strands of crimson light connected the Blood Core and the fiery crystal beside it. After a brief examination, Nie Tian discovered that the Flame Dragon Armor had recovered about half of its power by absorbing and refining earthflame essence from the fiery crystal.
As he attempted to communicate with the Flame Dragon Armor’s soul, he instantly received a reply.
Hence, he realized that although it had only recovered half of its power, it had become usable now.
As a Spirit Channeling grade treasure, the Flame Dragon Armor was extremely helpful. Even though it hadn’t been restored to its peak state, it would provide Nie Tian with significant assistance on various occasions.
His spirit was greatly lifted.
As a thought entered his mind, the Flame Star flew out of his ring of holding.
He reached out with one hand and assumed a tight grip on the Flame Star. Immediately, different powers rushed out of the vortexes in his spiritual sea and infused into it.
As his spiritual power flowed through the numerous special spell formations engraved in the Flame Star, his spiritual power was further refined and concentrated, and became incomparably pure and sharp.
Blade light of various colors rose from the tip of the Flame Star, like a spiritual snake flicking its multi-colored tongue.
Among it, a streak of green light appeared especially active.
“Yee?!” Surprised, Nie Tian stared blankly at the streak of green light, and instantly recognized that it was a streak of wood power.
The streak of wood power wiggled unceasingly, as if it were eager to break free from the combined blade light and fly towards the sky-reaching trees in the surroundings.
Curious and puzzled, Nie Tian glanced around at the ancient trees.
Each and every one of them was lush and hundreds of meters tall. Even the shortest one seemed no shorter than five hundred meters. Standing among them, he looked very tiny.
Fairly rich wood power started exuding from the branches and leaves of the huge trees around him, and started converging on him, as if it were attracted by that streak of wood power in the blade light.
He sent a wisp of his psychic awareness into his vortex of wood power, and discovered that the fragmented will he had received from the titan was rapidly gathering and reforming within his madly spinning vortex of wood power.
Hence, he became absorbed in his thoughts.
Compared to the wood power in the magical place where he had discovered a Tree of Life, the wood power on this floating continent was much fainter.
But even still, the wood power here was richer than any other place he had been to in the Domain of the Falling Stars.
After his previous trip to the magical place where a Tree of Life existed, he had absorbed enough pure wood power, and his vortex of wood power had already reached the point where it was ready for his breakthrough into the middle Greater Heaven stage.
Perhaps the reason why he induced such interactions between the ancient trees in this place and himself was because he had previously absorbed a copious amount of wood power from the magical place where the same type of ancient trees grew.
“I wonder whether it’ll trigger any changes if I launch attacks with my wood power.” With this thought in mind, he led Pei Qiqi deeper into the forest.
At this moment, Pei Qiqi had long since stored the Lightning Shuttle back in her ring of holding, and her slender physique was surrounded by multiple layers of rippling spatial energy.
As far as Nie Tian sensed it, Pei Qiqi seemed to have vanished from his side and entered a different space, making her completely undetectable by psychic awareness.
Since he was no stranger to Pei Qiqi’s mysterious abilities, he didn’t feel very surprised.
Some time passed...
Nie Tian came to a stop by the foot of a huge tree and said softly, “They’re right ahead.”
Three Heaven Eyes floated over the region ahead of them, where he could see five men and women dressed in the Poison Sect’s garments sitting in a circle and chatting in low voices.
As they chatted with their faces full of smiles, Nie Tian moved his Heaven Eyes to get a full grasp of the content of their conversations.
Eyes narrowed, Nie Tian explained to Pei Qiqi as he listened to their conversation intently, “Those five are one of the Poison Sect’s search teams. They’ve recently discovered this strange continent and already sent word to the others. Now they’re waiting for the arrival of their powerful experts.”
Pei Qiqi’s expression instantly changed as she asked, “They’re waiting for others to come?”
Nie Tian nodded.
“Experts from the Poison Sect are beyond powerful. Even if just one Worldly realm expert comes here, we’ll be in huge trouble.” With these words, Pei Qiqi rapidly calmed herself and gave up the idea of going deeper into the forest. “We can’t stay here, and we need to leave as soon as possible. Also, we’ve got to keep an eye out for Poison Sect members that are coming here upon receiving their message.”
Nie Tian seemed somewhat hesitant.
There was something special about this continent. His vortex of wood power had accelerated, as well as the reintegration of the titan’s broken will.
He had always wondered what mysteries were lying within the titan’s broken will. If they remained on this continent, it would take three days at the most for all of the broken pieces of information to fully reintegrate and present the truth to him.
Three days was all he needed.
However, powerful experts from the Poison Sect might very well arrive here within three days upon receiving the message sent by the search team of five resting ahead of them.
After wrestling with indecision for a while, he eventually decided to play it safe, then he said, “Alright, let’s go back to where we came from.”
Pei Qiqi let out a sigh of relief and said, “Good. That’s the wise thing to do.” She had worried that Nie Tian would act rashly and put the two of them in danger.
However, just as Nie Tian was about to turn around and head back, he heard another piece of information via his Heaven Eyes.
Sitting among the ancient trees, a slightly chubby young man with a gracious face lowered the Sound Stone in his hand and said with furrowed eyebrows, “There’s something strange about this place. I can’t seem to get the message through to the others. He Xue, why don’t you make a message run? Get away from this continent and find a place where you can get the message through to our seniors.”
The Poison Sect disciple named He Xu rose to his feet. “No problem, Big Brother Zhang Jiu. You guys be careful.”
A bright smile appeared on Zhang Jiu’s harmless face as he said, “There’s not a soul here other than the five of us. What’s there to worry about?”
“Well, you’re probably right.” With these words, He Xu left the group and marched towards the edge of the floating continent.
The direction he was heading in didn’t deviate far from where Nie Tian and Pei Qiqi were.
After Nie Tian relayed their conversation to Pei Qiqi, she hastily tried using her own Sound Stone. Immediately afterwards, her eyes lit up. “He’s right. Sound Stones don’t seem to work here. That means they’re relying on that man to leave this continent to get word of their discovery through to their seniors. If that’s the case, we’re not in a hurry to leave anymore...”
Soon, she came up with an idea, and said to Nie Tian, “You stay here. I’ll go take care of that messenger.”
Nie Tian nodded.
The messenger, He Xu, possessed the lowest cultivation base among the five Poison Sect disciples. If there weren’t any mishaps, he wouldn’t even stand a chance fighting Pei Qiqi, so Nie Tian wasn’t worried.
Watching Pei Qiqi going stealthily in the direction he had pointed out for her, he stood in place by the foot of a huge tree.
He continued to pay close attention to the movement and conversations between the other four.
Smiles filled the corner of Zhang Jiu’s mouth as he said, “Our powerful seniors are coming soon. Let’s not just sit around and do nothing while we wait. This place is wreathed in wood power. All of these ancient trees must also contain copious amounts of wood power. I bet our spirit vermin can feast on them.”
With these words, the slightly chubby Zhang Jiu rose to his feet. As the ring of holding on his finger flickered brightly, countless bugs swarmed out of it and swooped towards nearby trees.
The other three followed suit and cast the Poison Sect’s unique magic to unleash the spirit vermin they had refined.
Shortly, the surroundings of the four Poison Sect disciples were filled with extremely active flying bugs.
Via his Heaven Eyes, Nie Tian saw that the bugs were of various sizes. Some were the size of fists, while others were the size of grains, but upon closer examination, all of them looked sinister and had sharp teeth.
Without any hesitation, they swarmed towards the nearby ancient trees and started gnawing away on the freshly-green leaves and branches.
The excited noises of the bugs made Nie Tian’s hair stand on end. Under the gaze of his Heaven Eyes, the leaves and branches of the nearby trees rapidly disappeared.
Some of the bugs even flew towards his hiding place. As they approached, they seemed to notice his existence, and thus started to give out ear-piercing noises.
Upon hearing the bugs’ strange shrieks, Zhang Jiu’s peaceful face instantly changed as he called out, “Who’s hiding there?”
Upon uttering these words, he morphed into a giant bird and pounced towards Nie Tian’s location.
The expressions of the other three Poison Sect disciples also turned cold as they each gave a cold harrumph and began forming hand seals. As soon as they did, countless bugs flew directly towards Nie Tian’s hiding place like swarms of locusts.
“Spirit vermin!” Nie Tian let out a cold snort and stepped out from behind the thick tree trunk. Eyes filled with frosty light, he glared at the incoming swarms of sinister bugs.
Emperor's Sex Life
The Emperors had many women to keep them occupied. One emperor in the 11th century had 121 women (the nearest round number of one third of 365, the number of days in a year) at his immediate disposal, including one empress, three consorts, nine spouses, twenty-seven concubines, and eighty-one assistant concubines. See Sui Dynasty.
Some emperors believed they could gain immortality form having sex with as many women as possible but never ejaculating. See Yellow Emperor.
Emperors also had male consorts. According to legend the Han Dynasty Emperor Ai said he would rather cut off the sleeve of his robe than disturb his male lover who had fallen asleep on it. Some Chinese still refer to homosexuality as “the passion of the sleeve."
Imperial women also indulged themselves. Empress Wu Ze Tian was a 7th century ruler who was previously a nun and then a concubine and briefly changed the Tang dynasty's name to Zhou. She had her own harem of men.
Emperor's Sexual Rotation Schedule
It was believed that organizing the Emperor's sex life into a regimented order was essential to maintaining the well-being of the entire Chinese empire. The great Chinese calendar clocks of the 10th century were not used to keep track of time but rather to decide the schedule, rotation and time for the women who slept with the Emperor. Secretaries kept record of the Emperor's sex life with brushes dipped in imperial vermillion.
In China and some other Asian countries age is determined from the moment of conception not from the moment of birth. The Imperial Chinese believed that women were most likely to conceive on the nights nearest the full moon, when the Yin, or female influence, was strong enough to match the potent Yang, or male force, of the Emperor. It was believed that on these nights children with strong virtues would be produced. As a result the empress and spouses slept with Emperor around the full moon and the lower ranking women, whose main function was to nourish the Emperor's Yang with their Yin, slept with him around the time of the new moon. [Source: "The Discoverers" by Daniel Boorstin]
A rotation described in the Record of the Rites of the Chou dynasty (1120-256 B.C.) was as follows: "The lower-ranking [women] come first, the higher ranking come last. The assistant concubines, eighty-one in number, share the imperial couch nine nights in groups of nine. The nine spouses and the three consorts are allotted one night to each group, and the empress also alone one night. On the fifteenth day of every month the sequence is complete, after which it repeats in reverse order." [Source: "The Discoverers" by Daniel Boorstin]
Some emperors kept the names of their favorite wives, consorts and concubines on jade tablets kept in their bed chambers. The most active emperors had 50 or more of these tablets. When an emperor selected the woman he wanted he turned over the tablet with her name on a teak table. A eunuch then rushed to the woman's chamber, took off her clothes to make sure she wasn't concealing a weapon, wrapped her in gold cloth, carried her through the palace since she could barely walk with her bound feet and deposited her at the foot of the emperor's bed. The eunuch then recorded the date to verify later whether or not the emperor was the father of any children born to the woman.